Past Productions



2016 FEBRUARY 18-28

Written by Suzanne Ristic
Starring Monica Dufault
Co-Presented with FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

A new one-woman play by Vancouver playwright Suzanne Ristic, this darkly comic piece was first produced in 2014 at the Vancouver Fringe Festival.
The play centres on an ultra rich Canadian woman, Shelly Cormorant, who pretends to be homeless in order to better understand the plight of the 99%. A contemporary Marie Antoinette in her ignorance, Shelly unwittingly offends everyone she meets in her attempt to empathize with the “poor”, all the while taking advice from a vision of Scarlett O’Hara.

“The writing, by Suzanne Ristic is witty, clever, sneaky, poetic, and brilliant. It is both of our time in its exploration of wealth and class and also a timeless human story.” – Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014 Review, PLANK Blog


Falling: A Wake

2015 NOVEMBER 19-29

Written by Gary Kirkham
Directed by Monica Dufault
Co-Presented with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

One starry night the body of a young man, still strapped into his airplane seat, falls from the sky into the yard of Harold and Elsie’s chicken farm. A haunting and surprisingly funny play about love, loss, and the redemptive power of letting go.

‘”Extraordinary things happen to ordinary non-descript people every day,” Monica Dufault began as she pushed aside her coffee mug… “The play had to be meaninful and connect well to the community.”‘ – Zoe Adams, The Sound STC

“This will be the first time that our company is performing in a purpose-built, state of the art theatre venue,” [Monica Dufault] says. “It opens a whole palate of possibilities for us as we create the work.” – Niagara Falls Review


Wings of Wax


Written by Lindsay Price
Directed by Monica Dufault
Starring: Joshua Stodart and Emma Mackenzie Hillier

Sound Design: Beau Dixon
Set & Lighting Design: Jacqueline Costa
Video Design: Kasia Smuga

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“With the intricate set, passionate director, and hilarious actors, this piece is sure to draw you into the adventure and pull you back and forth through a lesser known part of Canada’s history.” — KAREN FRICKER, DARTcritics, BROCK UNIVERSITY


The Valley


Written by Joan MacLeod
Directed by Monica Dufault
Starring: Jason Cadieux, Peggy Coffey, Andrew Pimento, and Kelci Stephenson

Sound Design: Ethan Rising
Set & Video Design: The Brain Farm
Lighting Design: Kate Leathers

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“Dufault’s naturalistic directing style creates a seamless, uninterrupted world in which we can experience these characters as if we are sitting in the same room as them. In our society that still stigmatizes mental illness, we struggle to provide resources for individuals who are experiencing these kinds of issues. The Valley simply demonstrates a story about mental illness and the effects it has on individuals and the people close to them. It is up to us if this will create a public dialogue about mental health so that one day, we will shed the stigma and know what to say.” — SPENCER WALKER, DARTcritics, BROCK UNIVERSITY


Scenic View


Written by & Starring Stephanie Jones and Jason Cadieux
Directed by Wes Berger
Lighting Design: Jacqueline Costa
Stage Manager: Stephen Newman

An Evening with Lucky Jim Lacroix


Written & Directed by Sky Gilbert
Starring Stephanie Jones and Jason Cadieux
Lighting Design: Jacqueline Costa
Stage Manager: Stephen Newman


My Pregnant Brother


Written & Performed by/Texte, traduction et interprétation Johanna Nutter
Directed & Dramaturged by/Mise en Scène et Dramaturgie Jeremy Taylor

“As compelling as it is intelligent and as witty as it is dramatic. She had the audience eating out of her hand. Three cheers for My Pregnant Brother.” MJ STONE, HOUR MAGAZINE 

“Si c’était une histoire inventée, on crierait à l’invraisemblance. Johanna Nutter a tiré de son histoire familiale un récit à la fois incroyable et d’une humanité universelle tant il porte d’imperfections, de complications, de souffrance et d’absurdité, mais aussi d’amour, d’émotion et d’espoir…” – MARIE LABRECQUE, LE DEVOIR 

Somnambulists in Love


Written by Jason Cadieux
Directed & Dramaturged by Gyllian Raby
Featuring: Aparajit Bhattacharee, Edwin Conroy Jr., Stephanie Jones, Mary Laundry & Danielle Wilson

White Crow


Written by Dawn E. Crysler
Directed by Monica Dufault
Featuring: Dawn E. Crysler, Patricia LaRiviere, and Lorne Kennedy

Stage Manager: Diane Konkin
Sound & Lighting Design: Gavin Fearon
Set, Costumes & Props Design: Michael Greves


Hard Ways


Written by Jason Cadieux
Starring Jason Cadieux
Directed by Sarah Garton Stanley


“Outstanding Direction – Outstanding Performance – Outstanding Production.” – JOHN KAPLAN & GLENN SUMI, NOW MAGAZINE’S BEST OF THE SUMMERWORKS WRAP UP

“A rich and frightening piece of work.” – P. LANGSTON, OTTAWA CITIZEN

“Gripping and entertaining.” – L. PEPPAS, THE WELLAND TRIBUNE




Written by Jason Cadieux
Directed by Sarah Garton Stanley
Featuring Stephanie Jones
Sound Design: Justin Roddy

“A quietly remarkable piece of chamber theatre.” – R. HALLIBURTON, TIME OUT UK 

“17.5 crosses the finish line of excellence.” – J. WEGG, PULSE 

“Stephanie Jones makes this good plot totally engrossing – her skilled and very touching performance is absorbing from the off.” – GEMMA BRIGGS, CAMDEN GAZETTE UK




Written by Stephanie Jones
Adapted from the the novel by Joan Barfoot
Dramaturged by Cole Lewis
Directed by Monica Dufault
Featuring: Darla Biccum, David Frisch, Emma Mackenzie-Hillier, and Stephanie Jones

Stage Manager: Dawn E. Crysler
Lighting Design: Mike Palmieri
Set & Costume Design: Michael Greves





Written & Directed by Sky Gilbert
Starring Stephanie Jones and Jason Cadieux

“Like most shows sprouting from their Essential Collective Theatre Company, it’s an edgy, provoking, sometimes uncomfortable affair. Which makes it unlike most theatres in Niagara.” – JOHN LAW, NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW


She’s Mine


Written by Stephanie Jones
Directed by Monica Dufault
Featuring: Jason Cadieux, Geoffrey Heaney, Vicki Jenkins, Genevieve Jones, and Stephanie Jones
Set & Costume Design: Pat Rocco
Lighting Design: Douglas Ledingham



Possible Worlds


Written by John Mighton
Directed by Peter Feldman
Featuring: Aaron Berger, Jason Cadieux, Miles Coverdale, Mac Dodge, and Stephanie Jones

Lighting Designer: Ken Garett
Set & Costume Designer: Pat Rocco
Sound Designer: Erica Sherwood
Stage Manager: Anrita Petraroia
Assistant Stage Manager: Genevieve Jones

“I’ve had the opportunity to see Hard Ways, and it is the best thing I’ve seen done in the region. The script, the acting, the lights and sound are all first-rate, and I recommend it highly.” – L. PEPPAS, THE WELLAND TRIBUNE



Road to Hell


Written by Michael Healey and Kate Lynch
Directed by Renee Baillargeon
Featuring: Stephanies Jones and Bruce Davies

“Road to Hell a ‘knock-down, drag-out comedy’…Contrary to how it sounds, the Essential Collective Theatre’s latest production is paved with romance and laughs.” L. PEPPAS, THE WELLAND TRIBUNE